Former Sununu Youth Center counselor to register as sex offender for assault of detained teen

  • Kirstie Bean (right) sits with her lawyer in Merrimack County Superior Court on Wednesday, May 17, 2017. Bean posted cash bail and waived her arraignment. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor file

Monitor staff
Published: 5/23/2018 7:32:32 PM

Twenty-two charges were dismissed against a former Sununu Youth Services Center counselor who will avoid significant jail time for sexually assaulting a teenager sentenced to the juvenile detention facility.

Kirstie Bean, 26, of Concord recently pleaded guilty in Merrimack County Superior Court to a misdemeanor charge of sexual assault and a felony count of witness tampering for telling the teenager not to discuss their “relationship” after she learned of a possible police investigation. In exchange for her guilty pleas, county prosecutors dismissed nearly two dozen additional charges – including 12 counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault – previously filed against Bean in four New Hampshire counties.

Judge John Kissinger Jr. sentenced Bean to one year at the county jail for sexual assault; however, she is immediately eligible for work release, and after three months can serve the remainder of her sentence on administrative home confinement. Once Bean has served her sentence, she will be required to register as a sexual offender for 10 years.

Her conviction on the witness tampering charge resulted in a consecutive three- to six-year state prison sentence, all suspended for 10 years. She will be on probation for five years; however, if she is of good behavior and does not violate her probation, her term will be reduced to three years. Bean cannot have any contact with the victim or any unsupervised contact with children under the age of 16 who are not relatives, and she must participate in regular counseling.

One count of felonious sexual assault was conditionally dismissed, meaning Bean must follow through on the conditions of her sentence and commit no other crimes for five years. Prosecutors allege Bean used her position of authority as an employee of the youth detention center to coerce a then-15-year-old detained there to have sex with her in Manchester between August 2015 and August 2016.

The plea deal was filed with the court on May 17, less than three weeks before Bean was scheduled to stand trial in Concord. Attorneys were already scheduled to appear in court last week for a pretrial hearing, but in light of the agreement Bean moved forward with a plea and sentencing hearing instead, according to court records.

Bean was first indicted in Merrimack County in spring 2017 on four counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault, as well as misdemeanor charges of false report to law enforcement and hindering apprehension or prosecution.

Authorities later brought new charges against Bean for similar alleged acts involving the same victim in Gorham, Laconia and Manchester. By agreement, the three cases never made it before separate grand juries in those jurisdictions; rather, Bean waived that right. The cases against her in Belknap, Coos, Hillsborough and Merrimack counties were consolidated into one case heard by Kissinger in Concord.

(Alyssa Dandrea can be reached at 369-3319, or on Twitter @_ADandrea.)

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